sometimes i make jewelry (but not very often)




Happy Autumn! I never made much jewelry because you have to buy all those little bits. Or, you have to have a bunch of potentially fire-starting tools and chemicals at your disposal and I don't. Usually, it takes a formal environment to kickstart the process of doing something you don't normally do, which is why I don't do all the things I always say I want to learn how to do, like knit or do yoga or some kind of martial art or fly on the trapeze or ride horses or scuba dive or...you get the idea.

So here is some jewelry I've made and even occasionally wear, when I have time to remember things like jewelry and am not in a mad dash to catch a train or something. All are fairly large (for jewelry). I took a class on non-metal jewelry which taught me the basics of handling all those little bits.

The top piece is a pendant based on the paisley design. It's stained wood, hand-carved with a flex-shaft (WANT) and set with glass beads (and by "set" I mean, "they're glued in"). Note jump ring fail at the top--I added that after my access to proper jewelry making equipment had ended. But I actually really like this one, and out of the three, I wear it the most often.

Next is a large brooch, about 2" X 2" square. It's an antique photograph, ca. 1850s-60s. A miniature scanned version of this (two of them, actually), can be seen in The Homestead, along with figures from some of the other photos that came with this one. This is the original. I think she looks kind of like Kirsten Dunst. I constructed the brooch myself, using bookboard for the back and painted balsa wood strips for the frame. The photograph and dried flowers are protected by a piece of plastic from a picture frame. (I'd rather glass, and I even have a glass cutter, but I don't have any glass around.) The findings themselves are store-bought, and everything is held together with bookbinding glue.

Lastly is another piece I made in the jewelry class. It's a brooch, and is my one great attempt at metalwork. The back is, I mean. It's pretty clumsy, but I'm personally happy with it. The making of an actual pin is a complicated process that I won't get into right now, but let's just say it functions correctly. The back is dyed leather with burnt-in paisley detail (I had a theme going) mounted on wood. The figures are scrimshawed rawhide (scrimshaw is traditionally done on bone or ivory, but can be done on just about anything, including rawhide, though the ink blurs a little), the frame is carved wood, and the pearls are real. Interestingly, the two girls here are reminiscent of the character sketches I mentioned in the last post. The piece was meant to evoke an old family photograph, something to do with memories of childhood.

So sometimes when I get bored or when I'm watching TV or when I'm bored watching TV I make jewelry. Admittedly, I'm not very good at it, but I rather do enjoy manipulating minutiae, and my style appears to be somewhat Victorian, which I never really realized until now. I also seem to go about jewelry making like a painter--note all those framed images. I don't think I'll be posting anymore jewelry, though. This was something of an experiment, I guess. On to more paintings!